First protestant church in Mecklenburg
The chapel constitutes a veritable jewel of the Schwerin Castle, both in terms of architecture and art. It was built between 1560 and 1563 on the initiative of Duke Johann Albrecht I, as the first Protestant church in Mecklenburg. The architecture followed in general terms the chapel of Torgau Hartenfels Castle.
The excellent interior was created according to a special programme by Martin Luther for Protestant preaching services. Thus, the chapel of Schwerin Castle counts among the most important sacral buildings of Reformation.
The pulpit made by sculptor Georg Schröter from Torgau and the doorway created by the sculptor Hans Walther from Dresden are some of the individual pieces of Saxon and Dutch Renaissance art preserved until today.
Some of the alabaster reliefs could be attributed to the most important sculptor of Antwerp, known as Guillielmus Paludanus. Before these reliefs, partly signed and dated, were moved to the chapel in the 17th century, they were located in the ducal living rooms.
The re-design of the castle in 19th century
In the 19th century the castle was re-shaped and the chapel received a neo-gothic choir with magnificent stained-glass windows. The plans for the choir came from Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, architect of the Cathedral of Cologne; the windows were created by Ernst Gillmeister from Schwerin. At the same time the chapel was given splendid mural paintings. Following the trend at that time, the three bays of the star-vault and the net-vaults located above the galleries were decorated with golden stars on a blue background.
These “celestial bodies” shall now help preserve this important sacral building and make it shine again in new splendour.